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Arts Therapy for the Disabled
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Our Romanian Partners
A Model of Arts Therapy in Institutions for Children and Adults with Special Needs in former communist Eastern European and the Balkans
Many thousands of children and adults in Romania have suffered severe physical and emotional damage because of years of being shut away in an orphanage or "hospital" - ie an institution.
In addition they may have no access to freedom of expression,
education, play or the right to participate in cultural life.
Creative arts programmes offer a working model for addressing these problems. They can act as a catalyst for changing attitudes to the human rights of the patients.
They also provide a transitional tool while specialist training and a national strategy are being set up - as this will take years to implement.
No training for carers
Carers in many Romanian "hospitals" / institutions have little training in special needs issues or therapeutic programmes This lack of training, role models or almost any personal / professional support often makes difficult work seem a brutalizing and thankless task.
There is an urgent need to introduce methods that value the individual, set out to explore their best potential and respect their rights as human beings with something to contribute to their community.
What the Project Really
If people don't get any stimulation /activity - particularly children - they will literally waste away and die.
Many of these institutions are in rural backwaters where the staff are poorly educated and badly paid.
Sadly, in these places, there is often an underlying cultural belief that a child born with a disability somehow deserves it.
They were born "bad" because they were bad in another life. It's God's way of punishing them. (You may recall that Glenn Hoddle resigned as the manager of the England football team for expressing similar views some years ago).
People are entitled to their opinion. But the bad thing about this dubious idea is that it has a very direct effect for the worse on the unfortunate children and adults who end up in the institutions - particularly in the countries of the former Soviet Union.
The carers will give them the basics eg food and water, but there is very little love exchanged, very little care and very little concern.
Our Impart team helps to change things, not just in theory, but in a practical day-to-day way that has a direct positive effect on the lives of the suffering.
The patients take part in happy dances, music and art and sensory training sessions.
The IMPART model trains the carers to deliver these sessions. Seeing the changes they make to the patients often has a positive effect on the carers who start to see them as human beings.
The model has been taught to thousands of carers throughout Romania/.
We feel this model could be very useful in other former communist Eastern European countries where there are similar problem of basic lack of care, stimulation and neglect in adult and childrens institutions.
We invite enquiries from anyone about how
we could help Impart the model into other countries.
Check out our new mini film about how our Impart programme brings life giving art therapy to institutions for the disabled in Romania
More about the project
If you would like to make a quick secure donation to help those in need in Romania please click here